Constantine: Religious Faith and Imperial Policy brings together some of the English-speaking world’s leading Constantinian scholars for an interdisciplinary study of the life and legacy of the first Christian emperor. For many, he remains a "sign of contradiction" (Luke 2:34) whose life and legacy generate intense debate. He was the first Christian emperor, protector of the Church, and eventually remembered as "equal to the apostles" for bringing about the Christianization of the Empire. Yet there is another side to Constantine’s legacy, one that was often neglected by his Christian hagiographers. Some modern scholars have questioned the orthodoxy of the so-called model Christian emperor, while others have doubted the sincerity of his Christian commitment, viewing his embrace of the faith as merely a means to a political end.
Drawing together papers presented at the 2013 symposium at Stockton University commemorating the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, this volume examines the very questions that have for so long occupied historians, classicists, and theologians. The papers in this volume prove once again that Constantine is not so much a figure from the remote past, but an individual whose legacy continues to shape our present.
Table of Contents
Notes on Contributors
Foreword - Tom Papademetriou
A. Edward Siecienski
Part One: Debates
Constantine and religious extremism
The significance of the Edict of Milan
Part Two: Historiography
The sources for our sources: Eusebius and Lactantius on Constantine in 312-313
Raymond Van Dam
Constantine in the pagan memory
Part Three: Legacy
The Eusebian valorization of violence and Constantine's wars for God
George E. Demacopoulos
Constantine the Pious
Peter J. Leithart
A. Edward Siecienski is Associate Professor of Religion and Pappas Professor of Byzantine Culture and Religion at Stockton University, New Jersey, USA. He is the author of The Filioque: History of a Doctrinal Controversy (2010) and The Papacy and the Orthodox: Sources and History of a Debate (2017).
"Its intended audience is mostly scholars and graduate students. Students of Eusebius, in particular, of late antique religious policy, textual representations of historical figures, in obvious addition to Constantine, should find ample food for thought in this interesting book."
- Eric Fournier, West Chester University of Pennsylvania. In Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018.04.16